David with Goliath

By Williams, Jody | Harvard International Review, Fall 2000 | Go to article overview

David with Goliath


Williams, Jody, Harvard International Review


International Cooperation and the Campaign to Ban Landmines

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) was formally launched by six nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in October 1992. It galvanized world opinion against anti-personnel landmines to such a degree that within five years a clear and simple ban treaty had been negotiated. Signed by 122 nations in December 1997, the treaty became binding international law more quickly than any other such agreement in history. The treaty has, for the first time, comprehensively prohibited a widely used conventional weapon.

In the late 1980s, a number of NGOs began to recognize that the tens of millions of landmines contaminating dozens of countries around the world posed a humanitarian crisis. Human-rights organizations, children's advocacy groups, development and refugee organizations, and medical and humanitarian relief groups were being forced to make significant adjustments in their field programs to address the impact of landmines on the people they were trying to help. It became very clear that the only way to eliminate the problem was to eliminate the weapon. The NGO community did not wait for others to take action; they recognized a critical problem and initiated an effort to address it. These organizations had expertise on a wide range of issues related to landmines, and they worked diligently to gather field-based information that supported their demands for a global ban on the weapon.

As the ICBL effort was getting off the ground, the changing global situation helped set favorable conditions for talks on the use of conventional weapons. The end of the Cold War and shifting centers of power made it possible to approach issues of conflict in ways other than simply trying to avoid a nuclear holocaust. Organizations and individuals began to look at how conflicts had actually played out during the Cold War and at what weapons and methods of warfare had produced the most significant impact on the lives of civilians. In addition, possible responses by governments to issues of global concern were no longer as constrained as during the Cold War, when the two major powers dominated diplomacy.

The process that brought about the Mine Ban Treaty has added a new dimension to diplomacy, and its success has generated hope for its wider applicability. When the Nobel Committee announced that the ICBL had been awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace, the Committee recognized not only the achievement of the ban, but also the promise of the model established by the ICBL. The Committee noted that the ICBL had been able to "express and mediate a broad range of popular commitment in an unprecedented way. With the governments of several small and medium-sized countries taking the issue up...this work has grown into a convincing example of an effective policy for peace." The Committee concluded that, "as a model for similar processes in the future, it could prove of decisive importance to the international effort for disarmament and peace." What made the ICBL so successful that it could serve as a possible model for others?

Critical to the strength of the ICBL has been its loose structure, a phenomenon that is often misunderstood. The ICBL is a true coalition made up of independent NGOs. There has never been a secretariat or central office. The NGOs that comprise the ICBL have come together with the common goal of banning landmines, but there has never been an overarching, bureaucratic structure to dictate how members should contribute to the ICBL. The ICBL deliberately did not establish a central office; each NGO had to find a way to participate in making the campaign work. This structure helped to ensure that the ICBL "belonged" to all of its members.

Members of the ICBL meet regularly to develop comprehensive strategies and plan joint actions; beyond that each NGO and national campaign has carried out its work in a manner that best fits its individual mandate, political culture, and circumstances. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

David with Goliath
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.